Union head Michael Weiner to work cheap

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Michael Weiner headshot.jpgSportsBusiness Journal reports that MLBPA head Michael Weiner is going to continue his predecessor Donald Fehr’s tradition of taking $1 million a year in salary. You may say that’s not exactly “working cheap,” but (a) that salary has remained flat since 1990, meaning that in real terms the MLBPA head has taken annual pay cuts; and (b) compared to their counterparts in other sports unions Fehr and Weiner are utter bargains.

Gene Upshaw, for example, made $6 million in the last year before his death. I know Gene Upshaw. I watched Mr. Upshaw work. Mr. Fehr and Mr. Weiner are no Gene Upshaws. And I mean that as a compliment to Fehr and Weiner.

No matter what you think of the players’ union, there is no escaping that it is one of the most successful unions in all of organized labor, not just sports labor.  The fact that their Executive Directors make less than most team’s utility infielders make them among the best deals in sports.

Sean Manaea pitches the first no-hitter of 2018

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Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea delivered his first career no-hitter against the Red Sox in a decisive 3-0 victory on Saturday night. Any thought of a perfect game was banished in the first at-bat, when Mookie Betts drew a leadoff six-pitch walk to open the first inning. From there, Manaea was nearly flawless, holding the Sox to four total baserunners and striking out 10 of 30 batters faced — a career record.

Manaea was gifted a three-run lead thanks to RBI doubles from Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien‘s solo shot off of Chris Sale in the fifth inning. While the Red Sox managed to draw two walks off of Manaea, they didn’t come anywhere close to plating a run. Andrew Benintendi tried to break up the no-no in the sixth inning with an infield hit down the first base line, but strayed out of bounds and later saw his hit reversed on a call of batter interference.

Entering the ninth inning, the 26-year-old lefty was sitting at just 95 pitches through eight frames of no-hit ball. He quickly deposed Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts with a groundout and fly out, then walked Benintendi on seven pitches. Any threat the Red Sox might have posed was soon eliminated, however, as Hanley Ramirez ground into a force out to complete the no-hitter.

Manaea is the first A’s pitcher to toss a no-no since Dallas Braden’s perfect game against the Rays eight years ago. The last time the Red Sox were on the losing end of a no-hitter was also against an AL West rival, when the Mariners’ Chris Bosio clinched a 2-0 no-no on April 22, 1993. Manaea’s feat is even more outstanding given how dominant the Red Sox have looked this season: prior to Saturday’s defeat, they boasted a 17-2 record and had yet to be shut out during the regular season.